Ripe for the picking in all its Autumnal glory. A hard, tart and sour fruit when raw, quince are a wonderfully fragrant and enticing fruit when cooked.
Most commonly turned into quince jelly to adorn the cheese plate we believe that these wonderful fruits are destined for greater things. Infused in alcohol, with cinnamon and anise for a christmas twist. Maybe pickled for those Sunday afternoon cold cut snacks. Added to fruit pies and puddings it can add a mysterious yet comforting fragrance.
Finally poached in a spiced liquor like we are today to grace the top of a warming bowl porridge for a winter pick me up breakfast enjoyed around the fire with friends and family along with steaming mugs of tea and coffee.
Ditch the porridge all together and eat with scoops of vanilla ice cream and lashings of extra syrupy goodness.
For the Quince
1/2tsp hogweed seeds (alternatively use a cardamon pod and a piece of orange peel)
1 star anise
3 tbsp demerara sugar
zest and juice of half a lemon
For the Porridge
150g porridge oats
Pinch of salt
Cooking the Quince
Rub the quince in a tea towel to remove the downy fluff from its skin. Peel the quince and cut from tip to toe. Placing in a pan filled with water, the lemon juice and zest to stop it from turning brown.
Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and allow the quince to simmer away until tender. If the sauce becomes too thick add a dash more water to the pan to slacken off.
Once the quinces have cooked remove from the pan and reduce the liquid to a syrup.
For the Porridge
Place the oats and milk into a saucepan along with a small pinch of salt.
Gently bring the pan to a simmer and cook the oats for 5-6 minutes stirring constantly.
Add more milk if you like it slightly runnier and serve with warm quince and some quince syrup.
Serve the porridge with the warm quince and some quince syrup on top. Breakfast of champions, perfect for those chilly mornings beneath the trees!
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Photos by Joe Allen-Preston
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